How To Run A Multiple Award Winning Radio Station
The NAB recently announced KUZZ-FM in Bakersfield, CA would be receiving the NAB Crystal Heritage Award which recognizes radio stations that have a long-term commitment to providing service to their local communities and have won 5 NAB Crystal's. KUZZ becomes only the third radio station to receive this award, winning its first Crystal back in 1998. Sylvia Carker is the Public Service Director of the station. She says "It's difficult to underscore the importance of the Crystal Radio Award unless you understand the process it takes to become a finalist. Then being chosen as one of only ten honorees, that's when the eyebrows go up. When I tell people KUZZ has won five Crystals, that's when I hear the whistle that says 'Wow." We asked Carker what it takes to run a station so admired by our industry and equally admired by the Bakersfield community.
Carker (pictured right) says running a radio station that is admired by the community comes from a shared goal of doing everything the station can for the community. "Raising money or creating awareness for a project isn't an easy prospect and it can't be done with just radio announcements. We like to get in early and create an entire marketing package for our non-profits and groups. Then we share our product with the other stations in our market and they're happy to use it. That means more ears hear about the event or campaign, more people respond and that creates success for them and for KUZZ on many levels."
As regards to that public and/or community service, Carker says radio must be proactive. "I find that public service announcements are the quickest way to learn what's going on in our community. Taking that information we can call to help develop a campaign, we can tie-in with a personal appearance or a shot on our morning show. I think Radio needs to be available and approachable. That's our calling card and we need to showcase it. We're cheaper than TV and faster and ubiquitous as well. "In the event of a national emergency" you're asked to turn on your radio, not your television or open a newspaper. We need to remember that."
Carker says the perception is that KUZZ is everywhere and doing everything. "That's really very flattering. We never forget that we live here too. What we do for our community we're doing for ourselves, our families and friends. Our work is important to us because its important to our community."
READ ABOUT THE HISTORY OF KUZZ RADIO HERE
The secret to managing a station to so much success and recognition. "That's a commitment that's unshakable and very, very obvious. Its less about managing and more about recognizing what's important to each of our staff members. Then channeling that enthusiasm and energy into a project they truly care about. It also helps that I'm pretty good at begging."
Carker and the KUZZ-FM team will be presented with their heritage award at the NAB Show Radio Luncheon Tuesday, April 17th in Las Vegas.
Send Sylvia congratulations on a job well done HERE or leave your comments below.
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